Editor says, what if Harthacnut the Viking had lived? muses Jeff Provine on the This Day in Alternate History web site. Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s). This article is part of the Jeff Provine Blog thread.
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Editor says, in reality Harthacnut died at the wedding. Magnus attempted to claim Harthacnut's realm, but died suddenly (most likely from accident or illness) while campaigning in Denmark. England passed to Edward, who became known as "the Confessor" and had no heirs with his wife Edith of Wessex due to his decision for celibacy according to medieval historians. Upon Edward's death in 1066, a succession crisis began as the English sponsored Edward's brother-in-law, Harold Godwinson. Harald Hardrada invaded to affirm his claim, but Harold defeated him at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Shortly thereafter, William the Norman, great-nephew to Emma of Normandy, invaded and slew Harold at the Battle of Hastings, beginning the Norman period of English history. Editorial comments are entered in [light green] typeface.